Home Remedies to Get Rid of Fruit Flies and Gnats

Fruit flies and gnats are commonly seen in the kitchen or around the indoor plants. These are mostly attracted to the vegetables and fruits kept in the house. Fruit flies are similar to small flies and have almost similar characteristics. Gnats are seen near moist soil or compost pile. Fungus gnats are found near indoor plants.

Common Spots where Fruit Flies and Gnats Develop

The following are the common places and spots where the fruit flies and gnats develop.

  • Summer season in homes
  • Restaurants
  • Markets
  • Rotten foot
  • Fermented food


Damage Caused by Fruit Flies and Gnats

The fruits flies and gnats cause the following damages to the food we consume.

  • Shortening the life span of the expensive fruits and vegetables
  • Damages ornamental and edible plants

Most of us use insecticides to get rid of these annoying creatures from the house. But it should be kept in mind that using toxic insecticides in the area of food and water is not safe.

Home Remedies for Fruit Flies and Gnats

There are several natural and easy home remedies by which the fruit flies and gnats can be completely eradicated.

1. Apple Cider Vinegar

One of the most popular remedies to deal with fruit flies and gnats is by using apple cider vinegar. These flies are attracted to the smell of the apple cider vinegar and get trapped in it.


How to Use?

  • Pour apple cider vinegar into a Mason jar or similar container
  • To release more of its smell, heat the apple cider vinegar and then use
  • Add a few drops of liquid dish soap and stir it well. It will help kill the flies
  • Cover the mouth of the jar with plastic wrap
  • Poke the plastic with a fork or toothpick to make holes for the flies to enter the jar
  • Place the jar where the gnats or fruit flies are swarming
  • When the jar fills up with dead flies, dump the contents, wash and refill it
  • If you do not have apple cider vinegar, simply use white vinegar
2. Red Wine

Red wine attracts fruit flies due to its aroma. Hence it can be used to trap them by intoxication.


How to Use?

  • Mix ½ cup of red wine and 1½ cups of water
  • Pour the solution into a small container
  • Wrap the top of the container tightly with plastic, then punch a few holes in it
  • Put the container where fruit flies are more
  • The flies or gnats will be drawn to the smell and they’ll drown in the mixture as soon as they make contact
  • When the jar fills up with dead flies, dump the contents and clean the container with warm soapy water
  • You may also leave a little bit of red wine in its original bottle and let it sit out
3. Lemongrass Essential Oil

Lemongrass essential oil has a strong smell that can prove useful in keeping the gnats and fruit flies at bay. It is to be noted that, using lemongrass essential oil will not kill the flies but will only keep them away.


How to Use?

  • Pour 2 cups of hot water in a clean spray bottle
  • Add 10 to 15 drops of lemongrass essential oil in it
  • Spray this solution around your kitchen counters, near your indoor plants and other places where you have noticed these flies the most
  • This homemade spray also works to deter spiders and ants
4. Lemon-Scented Dish Soap

A soapy solution of a lemon scent is very effective in keeping the indoor plants from gnats. The gnats are attracted to the lemony smell and the soap solution will kill them.


How to Use?

  • Mix 2 tablespoons of lemon-scented liquid dish soap in 4 cups of water
  • Transfer the solution to a spray bottle
  • Spray this soapy solution on the infested plant to kill the gnats
  • Finally, mist the leaves and stem of the plant with clean water to get rid of the soapy solution
5. Homemade Trap

Here is a recipe for making a homemade trap for fruit flies, made using milk, sugar and pepper. The files will be attracted to the mixture but this will drown them when they come in contact.


How to Use?

  • In a saucepan, combine 2 cups of milk, 4 tablespoons of ground pepper and 8 tablespoons of raw sugar
  • Simmer the solution on low heat for 10 minutes
  • Pour the mixture into a shallow dish and place it where you see the most flies
  • When the dish is full of flies, dump out the contents and wash it
  • Repeat as needed
6. Rotten or Overripe Fruit

Using rotten or overripe fruit can also serve the purpose of trapping the fruit flies.


How to Use?

  • Put several pieces of very ripe or rotting fruit in the bottom of a glass jar
  • Cover the mouth of the jar with plastic wrap and poke holes in it with a toothpick or fork
  • Place the jar where you see the most flies
  • After a few hours, you’ll see the jar is filled with flies
  • Submerge it in a bucket of warm soapy water for about 10 minutes so that the flies cannot fly back
  • Repeat as needed

The above mentioned home remedies are tried and tested and found to be useful in maintaining a clean and insect-free living space. The fruit flies and gnats can be eradicated using the above tips and remedies.

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